I don’t know what direction tonight’s write is going to take me. Heh heh heh… maybe in the write direction?
Bad, bad, bad. So sue me.
Quarantine cabin fever got the best of me a few minutes ago, a fog created by a combo of excessive amounts of pizza (courtesy of my son, who might be getting a bit tired of eating my cooking) and the completion of a season three Ozark binge watch. I decided to climb in my Subaru for a drive, just to clear my head. Stay at home, work at home has me in the house from the time I crawl out of bed until I clock out remotely. The commute to my couch is a short one. With the weather still cold and mostly dreary here lately, I haven’t turned the pedals since last week, so I just need to get out.
In the last two and a half weeks, I have used a quarter tank of gas.
The winter chill is about gone, judging from the cold yet refreshing air that strolled into my garage as the garage door raised. I backed slowly out, stopped for a moment in the drive to pick out some music on my phone – the atmosphere in the cockpit improves if the tune fits the mood (Huey Lewis’ new stuff was the choice). My Subaru growled a bit while it pulled slowly away, as if it too was glad to get out from the confines. Neither me nor my car was in a hurry. We just wanted to enjoy the temporary freedom. Huey Lewis crooned a gravelly tune….
Do you remember when, not so long ago, all we had was time? And the future was the last thing on our minds. What a time.
My mind wasn’t gravitating towards carefree memories of my youth, however. Cabin fever wasn’t the only motivation for getting out of the house. I needed to face a memory, take a short pilgrimage of sorts. I live about a mile from my former house, the house I lived in with my wife for 22 years, where our children were born and raised. I needed to see that house today.
Three years ago, I stood in the driveway of that house, tears streaming down my face, my then sister-in-law hugging me while she told me it would be ok, my soon to be ex wife driving off as she fought the emotions of leaving that house for good. We had closed on the sale of the house and our time of separation began. That night, I would sleep in the spare bedroom of the condo unit I was about to buy, perched on top of two mattresses and two box springs (I never felt the pea) with a pathway cleared from the tower of bed to the door through all of my things stuffed in that room.
I am not wallowing in pain or pity tonight. I am not celebrating, either. No one should celebrate that. March 31, 2017 was the day my life as I knew it ended. It changed in an instant.
It is what it is.
The Subaru growled compassionately as it guided me slowly past that house. The journey wasn’t what I expected. The journey was a tribute of sorts, a reminder. I think I need to remember the pain, the excrutiating emotional stress, the exhaustion that was a constant companion the months that preceded that day. Maybe I just needed to be reminded of how it felt when that weight lifted off my shoulders as I drove away that day.
My friend, John, reminded me today that so much has changed since that day. There truly is much to be thankful for. I think I will take that trip past my old house this day every year, a reminder that beauty comes from ashes, strength from not giving up.
I wonder what I will write next year?